April Squares Challenge

Here is another Photo Challenge I just found out about: The Squares Challenge, hosted by The Life of B.

The theme for the Squares Challenge this month is BRIGHT.

Self-explanatory, right?

Here are some of self’s bright squares:

  • the skylight of the apartment she rented for several weeks in Oxford, UK (November 2019)
  • a greeting card from Dublin-based visual artist Jacinta O’Reilly
  • a book from the Sherabling Monastery in Himachal Pradesh, India, which she visited in January 2012

Love this challenge!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Locking Eyes . . . with a Shark

The action unfolds to the accompaniment of ‘Elvis with the Philharmonic Orchestra’ booming from speakers “at the back of the wheelhouse,” music selection made by Don, the Captain:

Andrew and Stevie fling the fish through the air into buckets. Every time they come across small sharks wriggling out of the pile and snapping their strong jaws, they fire them back into the sea like shot-puts. I lock eyes with one and see across its rubbery face an expression of utter disbelief as it flies right past the wheelhouse window.

Dark, Salt, Clear, p. 44

HA HA HA!

Bless her heart, Lamorna Ash makes being out at sea with these men feel like a grand adventure! Great description.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

The “Fishwife Call”

If Lamorna Ash had written about nothing else except the pubs of Newlyn and the eight days on a fish trawler with six (or was it seven) Cornish fishermen, this book would have been worth the read. But we are only on p. 40, so one can only imagine what other Cornish memories lie in store!

So far, on this eight-day fishing trip, Ash has made reference to Moby Dick and something by Conrad, this interspersed with anecdotes about the crew (Kevin, a flaming redhead and the youngest of the crew is, naturally, the cook. First night’s dinner is “chicken burgers and lovely fucking peas.”)

Speaking of Moby Dick, self read that book for the first time in her first quarter as a Creative Writing Fellow at Stanford. Everyone else was reading Raymond Carver but, self being so obstreperous, she read Moby Dick. It took her, she thinks, something like three months, and she was in pain the whole time.

The trawler’s name is the Filadelfia –why? Next thing self knows, she is trolling her archives for pictures of Philadelphia, her favorite American city next to her own, the city where Dearest Mum attended Curtis (Dearest Mum was only 11 when admitted, and became super-famous, a famous like Britney Spears! For winning the New York Times International Piano Competition, at 14. Her teacher at Curtis was a Madame Mengerva, who told Dearest Mum she should never get married, which is why, when Dearest Mum was 21, she eloped and ended up having five children with Dear Departed Dad)

On p. 40, self reads about the Fishwife Call, that lovely seafaring tradition where “whoever is on watch puts the kettle on, makes mugs of coffee and then heads down to wake the snoozing crew for the next haul” with a hearty ‘Alrightfuckers!’

So interesting.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: ANYTHING IN FLIGHT

This week our topic is Anything that Flight. Your photo can show anything in flight or is capable of flyings through the air.

Be creative if you feel like it, and fun with this challenge this week. Remember your photos needs to be black and white, desaturated, sepia (brown tones) or selective color.  I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge (CBWC)

Here are self’s B & W Anything in Flight pictures:

Reading Tim Dee’s Landfill: Notes on Gull-Watching and Trash-Picking in the Anthropocene, and reminiscing about the Cornwall pub that had the Hemingway quote on a wall:

Print by the German Symbolist artist Max Klinger (1857-1920), in an exhibit at the British Museum, April 2019 (Pictures of the art were allowed)

Here’s one more, since it looks like the call self received a half hour ago, alerting her to an imminent power outage, was Spam.

This garden ornament consists of broken shells, arranged to look like birds in flight. Not quite black & white, but close? It’s in her backyard.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sunday Stills Photography Challenge: Your Best Black and White

Love discovering new photo challenges.

This one was particularly intriguing: the Sunday Stills Photography Challenge. Your Best Black-and-White Photos.

Self went searching through her archives and found a few that were not intentionally “black-and-white” but became so because of the shooting conditions — in most cases, gloomy weather.

Two of the pictures were taken on Caltrain headed north to San Francisco, one was taken on the train from London to Manchester, and the last picture was taken inside her cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Setting in EDDIE’S BOY

Eddie’s Boy opens in Bath! That’s Jane Austen country! Of all the bloody cheek.

It seems Eddie the hitman’s settled down with a member of the British royalty! Whose family has owned a house on the Royal Crescent for hundreds of years. Every May, the couple abandon Bath (because that’s when all the American students pour into town — oh, the horror!) for the more sedate charms of a country manor outside York.

Lord, what a ride this is going to be!

Self loves Bath. She was there once, in 2017. The Royal Crescent is, rightly, a World Heritage sight. Self is mighty entertained at the notion that one of those fabulous Georgian townhouses is the abode of an American hitman and his lordly wife.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: WATER

It rained in the San Francisco Bay Area! Finally! Rain was expected in OCTOBER.

Anyhoo, it’s mid-morning, sun’s out, rain stopped. So self is documenting.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is, fittingly, Water. Woo hoo!

A few other water photos from around WordPress:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Where Self Dreams

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week: WINDOWS AND DOORS

Self-explanatory.

  • The house in California. Oh, her garden is wild.
  • Skylight, Oxford, UK: She wakes beneath this every morning that she is in Oxford. In November, the skies were astonishingly clear.
  • Cottage # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland: She does all her writing at this table.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Field of Rocks

Yesterday, self dropped by Lyngso in San Carlos. It’s THE place for everything “natural” for your landscaping needs: pebbles, stones, rocks, flagstones — you name it.

She’s been hearing about Lyngso forever, since son was in primary school at St. Raymond’s in Menlo Park. Every single one of his classmates lived in the area, all of them had beautiful homes, and all of them got their stone from Lyngso.

It just so happened that when self dropped by yesterday, there was an abundance of boulders. She was so happy, it reminded her of the time her friend Helene took her to a field of rocks near Yorkshire (very Wuthering Heights).

She asked an employee about the different-colored rocks, and he told her that a customer had put in an order for 18 boulders, and hadn’t picked them up yet. “So this is a pretty special assortment,” he told self.

Wowowowowowow

Just lookit. Self wanted to use these rocks for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 115.2 (Inspiration) but she ended up using a different set of pictures. Still, she went bananas and took 20 pictures of rocks yesterday. Here are a few:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sunday Read: American Rose (Magazine of the American Rose Society)

Self decided to join the American Rose Society this year, and was so happy to receive their magazine.

The July/August issue has a very interesting article about Memorable Rose Gardens by Mike and Angelina Chute.

“All great gardens are dynamic, constantly changing over time . . . “

She’s never heard of any of the gardens. There’s one called Roseraie de L’Hay, “in the municipality of Val-de-Marne, five miles south of Paris, and only 30 minutes by train.” From the train station, it’s “a short bus ride to the little rose garden.”

There’s one in Rome, Il Roseto, “located on the slopes of the Aventine Hill, a short walk from the Colosseum. Il Roseto is built on a site once home to a Jewish cemetery. In memory of the cemetery and those that had been buried there, the garden’s paths are laid out in the shape of a menorah.”

There’s Queen Mary’s Rose Garden in Regent’s Park in northwest London (also home of the London Zoo) and there are “approximately 12,000 roses on display.”

And there is Austin Roses in Shropshire, “an agricultural area in England’s West Midlands.”

Next time she’s in Europe, she’ll make it a point to see some of these fabulous rose gardens.

In the meantime, there’s a pretty fabulous rose garden in Filoli, less than 10 minutes’ drive away. And here are a few pictures self took of her own roses:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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